EUROCONTROL: “At the time of its launch 10 years ago, the European Aeronautical Information Services Database (EAD) was, in its own way, revolutionary.”
Today EAD is more revolutionary than ever before.
Imagine anaeronautical information management systemthatallows 50,000 named users to concurrently access a vast amount of data. One that covers, for example:
350 flight information regions (FIRs)
- 7,000 non-directional beacon (NDB) navigational aids (navaids)
8,000 very high frequency (VHF) navaids
11,000 air traffic service (ATS) routes
Imagine anaeronautical information management systemthat has:
- grown its user base by an average 32% each year since 2003increased annual license sales by an average 24% each year since 2003
- been able to cope with annual growth of 45% in flight plan-related messages since 2011
Imagine anaeronautical information management systemlayoutthat:
- has processed 1,600,000 flight plan-related messages since November 2012
- handles almost 60,000 worldwide notices to airman (NOTAMs)each month
This is EAD, the world’s largest aeronautical information management (AIM) system: a system owned by EUROCONTROL, developed by Frequentis and jointly operated by GroupEAD Europe S.L. and Frequentis, based on strict adherence to the highest EUROCONTROL quality standards. A centralised reference database of quality-assured aeronautical information and a fully-integrated, state-of-the-art AIM solution form EAD’s strong backbone.
The EAD concept, where the location of servers and data sources is no longer important (similar to cloud computing), allows organisations to concentrate on their key competencies. The main benefits of such a distributed system are:
Lower data backupand
Lower data recovery costs
Cost sharingthrough regional approaches
More opportunityfor Air Navigation Service Providers
These advantages have allowed EAD to grow beyond its original geographic context, i.e. the 46 member states of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC). Currently, eight states outside the ECAC area have decided to participate and enjoy the benefits of EAD, including Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines. Seven more - led by Kazakhstan and South Africa - are currently at various stages along the road to active participation.
How everything began
Frequentis was contracted back in 1999 to develop and supply the European AIS database. The system went into operation - on schedule - on 6 June 2003. This was a milestone in Europe’s aviation history: for the first time, the idea of "one single sky for Europe" became reality!
Frequentis has remained responsible for system development and integration for this first fully-integrated AIM system. Since its first implementation in 2003, the Frequentis AIM solution (now known as “smartAIM”) has continued to undergo further development.